North Bay Business Journal

Monday, May 21, 2012, 6:42 pm

Share your thoughts: Does California have the worst business climate in the U.S.?

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    Do you agree with Chief Executive magazine's ranking the California business climate the worst in the nation?

    • Yes (72%, 115 votes)
    • No (22%, 35 votes)
    • Don't know (6%, 8 votes)

    Total voters: 160
    Polling period: May 21, 2012 @ 5:00 pm – May 29, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

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    This NBBJ Pulse Poll runs through May 29. View all polls.

    California ranked 50th in the U.S. for its business environment for the eighth straight year, according to a survey of 650 chief executive officers nationwide released May 2 by Chief Executive magazine.

    The executives were asked to rate states based on tax and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment.

    The magazine’s report on California’s results in the survey were scathing.

    “Once the most attractive business environment, the Golden State appears to slip deeper into the ninth circle of business hell,” wrote report author J.P. Donlon. “The economy, which used to outperform the rest of the country, now substantially underperforms.”

    Last year, 254 companies moved some or all their work and jobs out of state, up 26 percent from 2010 and five times as many as in 2009, according to Spectrum Location Solutions figures cited in the report.

    While survey respondents gave California four out of five stars for the living environment, they rated the state in the mid range for workforce quality and one out of five stars for taxes and regulation.

    Among the dozens of chief executive comments about California listed were some that zeroed in on perceived problems.

    “They are doing everything possible to drive a business out of their state,” wrote one respondent. “If the environment in CA was not so good, they would have lost half of their population.”

    “California regulations, taxes and costs will leave only tech, life sciences and entertainment as viable,” another wrote. “If you aren’t an elitist no room here for the middle or working classes.”

    The Business Journal encourages local businesses to share their experiences with environment for commerce at the local and state levels.

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    1. May 21, 2012, 10:09 pm

      by Dave Willson

      It IS the worst and it is a lack of leadership from the Governor on down. Our elected officials waste time advancing their agendas and justifying their positions.

      Here is an example. No matter which side of the fence you are on regarding the Second Amendment, legislators push for more laws restricting businesses whic deal in firearms (sporting goods stors, hunting supplies, etc). There are already 213 laws on the books regrding weapons, and anyone with half a brain knows the criminals will never comply with the laws, and they will find a way to get them no matter what laws get in their way. Add in the Public Employees Retirement System which pays 90%. A GI who lays his life on the line for the entire country gets about 50% after 20 years or 75% after 30.

      These elected officials do not think ahead. They do not consider the impact of what they do in the future….. if they care. They look the other way regarding illegal aliens, and bust people for smoking a cigarette or taking your son to you worksite and paying him to pick up trash and put it in the dumpster, They take no responsibility for a broken economy, and then tell taxpayers we will have to pay more.

    2. May 22, 2012, 8:56 am

      by John

      Hands down, yes.

      I am in the construction industry where the cost to build highways and bridges is billions more with less quality and less life span in reality. Working on Desert Xpress, cost per mile in California $37 million, Nevada $11.3 million. The difference between the two states is the permits, environmentalists, regulations, and the government.

    3. May 22, 2012, 2:33 pm

      by Nathan

      Understanding that California has our share of problems, but it is it really fair to say that a state that has the highest GDP of any state in the union the least business friendly. California makes up 13.5% of the US GDP, nearly twice that of the second highest, which is Texas. California has 38M people while Texas has 25M people. California has the 11th highest GDP per capita in the US. Yes, Nevada is a cheaper state to build roads in, but I can assure you that it is much less expensive to run a state that no one wants to live in. Have you ever looked at an aerial of Nevada? It’s not hard to regulate a desert!

      Linked In
      (the list goes on an on)

    4. May 22, 2012, 7:35 pm

      by C.Morgan Davis

      The only ‘Business’ that has thrived in Cali. is the Drug Trade. All else has been Regulated out of existance.

    5. May 24, 2012, 4:47 am

      by zuma

      In the navy they used to say “if it doesnt move paint it”.

      In California the state and local govt say ” if it moves or doesnt move tax it”.

      Our schools are producing illiterats that cant count count, our localities are building trains that go nowhere, and business are fleeing! And yet, we have one of the highest sales and income tax rates in the nation and more illegals than any other state. The state neither taxes or removes them. Does California have a functioning govt ? If so, where is it and what does it do other than tax?

    6. May 24, 2012, 12:28 pm

      by Nathan

      By the drug trade would you be specifically referring to Amgen or Genentech.

      Two more incredibly successful California companies. The worst business climate in the US? I don’t think so.

    7. May 26, 2012, 2:36 pm

      by Todd

      California is certainly having problems, but I am in agreement with Nathan, and thank him for those comments. Data usually holds up well against vitriol. I run a small business and have had plenty of ups and downs. The down times come from various factors related to the economy as a whole, or changes/difficulties within my particular industry. Local government factors are far down the list of concerns. Enviornmental and safety issues are worth addressing, and so yes there will be some regulation. On the other hand, our education system is nearing a total shambles, and that will be our biggest long term problem if the state of CA doesn’t get a handle on it.

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